How to spend your sunday (at Uflourish Pregnancy & Family Fair Brighton)

The Wake Up

Picture this typical Sunday morning scene:

You've been up since 5.30am (and up around 3-4 times in the night with night feeds). Your mind drifts back to pre-children times but then a chubby finger pokes you back into reality and screams "want Teletubbies DD now!". Your hands frantically search under the duvet, in bed crevices and in the bedside drawer..."where is the blinking* remote?" Avoiding having to open your eyes or get out of bed.

The small fugitive that snuck into your pillowed fortress in the small hours is now astride the baby shouting "dance magic dance, Jump baby jump!" You regret your poorly thought out film choice for the 3 year old the previous day of The Labyrinth.**

Rain streams down the window. The stark realisation emerges from behind the storm clouds on the grizzly Sussex morning.... I'm going to have to go to the dark underworld of soft play.

But wait, wasn't there something different about today?

This was Sunday 31st May 2015.

All the #NoMummyGuilt moons had aligned.

This was the highly anticipated day of the Uflourish Pregnancy and Family fair.

Just a taster of the fair haul (Usborne books purchased by myself)

Which I think we can all agree was a much better prospect than going to a preschool rammed soft play session. Plus I got to leave toddler firstborn at home and just bring the baby.

*Swear word substituted for more suitable word.
**Some of these happens may be exclusive to the goings on at my house.

The Arrival

When I rolled up to Brighton Racecourse, in good people carrier company, the puddles were gathering but so were the families all eager for a day under the cover of the Racecourse for a boutique pregnancy and family event.

I armed myself with a baby strapped to my chest  and a changing bag of supplies, jumping straight into the action. I had gathered my party (my antenatal NCT buddy who had similary strapped a baby on, but to her back) and ventured forth like two hobbits arriving at the homeland of the Shire.

I was met by a sea of family friendly faces as my excitement rose for what was to be a thoroughly enjoyable day full of fantastic workshops, speakers, enthusiasm and wonderfully insightful Sussex products and services.

It did lack orcs, but that can only be a good thing.

The Fair

Just like the Shire*** (by the way I am by no means a Lord of the Rings fan!), the steps led down to a well thought out rolling hills of stalls, a cafĂ© area, buggy park, feeding area, and a soft play area in the corner, for the mini hobbits (if such a thing exist).

I would of taken a picture but just like the hobbits, I was dazzled by the sight of the ring (the fair) and pulled in like a trance to the workshops being held in the paddock rooms on the far side.

***By just like the Shire, I assume this is what the picturesqueness of the shire would look like if it were to host a boutique baby show. I will stop using Lord of the Rings references now.

The Workshops

Now this is part of what makes this fair stand out from others - the really useful workshops.
From my previous post, you can see the range of workshops available. Literally all of which I wanted to attend.
But with a baby in tow and being a slave to naptime we opted for some of the morning sessions.
First up was Anthony Punshon from PW physique with the 'New mum's guide to getting your body back'.
Anthony, along with his wife had become a parent 4 months ago and they had the most adorable baby with the best natural hair-do I have ever seen.
Speaking from his experience (which he has a lot of in getting women's' jiggley-puffs back into shape), his main message was not to be hard on yourself or rush yourself back into your pre-pregnancy form. Particularly for the first three months as you may be fighting a losing battle against your hormones.
So put down that heat magazine with that celeb who is back into her bikini 2 weeks after birth - this is totally unrealistic.
He emphasised that regular exercise and not quantity or high intensity was the key to getting yourself back into fitness. And no starvation diets. *Reaches for cake* He said instead go for nuts *Puts back cake*
Next was the professed parenting expert who doesn't want to be called a parenting expert, Sarah Ockwell-Smith with 'The seven secrets to better baby sleep'.
This seminar was PACKED with bleary eyed parents eager to find a kind solution to their baby's sleep woes. The babies in the room, mine included, kept up their side of the bargain by being babycalmed by the whole experience, see below:

Ah ha ha - he finally sleeps!

She spoke reassuringly and matter of factly on what was normal for a child's sleep pattern.
By this she very honestly said, forget about getting them to stop waking early and try to naturally nudge them into our adult sleep patterns (with a disclaimer that this may not work).
BUT you are in good company if your child is a 'bad' sleeper as this is in fact totally NORMAL. I have already recommended her books to friends before for a no-pressure, scientific base to children's sleep.

The final seminar I attended was 'Understanding toddler tantrums and how you can help them' with Anna Ashley from Toddlercalm. I must say, even I was calm after this seminar. It seems our toddlers and us, their parents, really just go through the same set of emotions when they have a paddy. I'm sure you'll agree, when they melt down, you melt down and Ashley helped explain the reasons behind this and techniques to help you (and them through it).

One of the best things about the workshops were how welcome the children were in the groups.
My friend's toddler was doing roly-polys around the room in between having a bite of banana!
And the babies cooed/gurgled/winged in chorus in Sarah's seminar at the thought that someone was sharing all their secrets, but, were all accepted as normal parts of the workshops.

The Shopping! (And product Highlights)

Saving the best for last are the product highlights!
My 'I want these, I need these' moments were from these lovely local peeps:
    • The most delectable bedding designs - I mean THE most. Let's think baby sheets, they normally come in, er, white. Sometimes they're elasticated, sometimes flannel. But these are SOMETHING else. Today's modern baby has a funky sleep sack but a barren cot and this is where these come in. I flipping well adore the cloud print and there are many more. If only my maternity pay hadn't just been cut...

 Photo credit Magnus & Mouse
    • What's the one thing you actually need in summer? (hint: It helps you have a lie in) Blackout blinds or curtains, that's what! And beautiful ones. Honestly I want these for my living room, never mind the kid's room. Love them and the personalised made to measure service offered by Zoe.

Photo  Credit Point to the Window
    • Charting your child height on the wall is almost a right of passage through childhood. But what happens if you move house? Posters are great too, but well, they aren't always that attractive to the adult eye. These rulers are absolutely divine on the eye AND come in a range of farrow and ball colours. Birthday present for the kids me thinks (and possibly me). 
    • I was not expecting such a comfortable baby carrier, easy to put on and in THE most gorgeous array of patterns. I mean THE most. Have a look at them, but I warn you, you may have to buy ALL of them. One of the Connecta ladies was so so very helpful and made it look so simple. I urge you to have a go with them or pop up to their shop in Surrey/or find a local sling meet to try one on.  
Slings of beauty
  • Peacheyboo with their Sweet Toothy Pegs collection
    • Sugar mice on clothing - oh yes! And a black legging option - this is EXACTLY what is needed in baby clothing for the poonarmi situation/or weaning food massacre. There should be MORE black baby clothing. But all their designs are almost edible.
Photo Credit Peacheyboo

There were lots more that I would love to go into more detail with if I had more time and these were:

I wish I could of chatted to everyone but a ratty baby fired up his cry sirens by 1pm so we scoffed our delicious cake and scooted off down the A27 home.

What's that - You want to come next time?

You're in luck then, you lucky pup! There are two more fairs on featuring more great Sussex stuff on at:

Chichester College Sunday 28th June 2015
Worthing Assembly House Sunday 19th July 2015

After this fair I am thoroughly enthused about all things Sussex and Family - I will be making a monthly roundup of great Sussex family products from babywear to nursery products to Sussex mummy juice. All things Sussex and family basically, If you would like your product service featured, please get in touch at

About this review:
All views are my own but I was given priority entry and cake to attend so I suppose I was sponsored (by cake). I assure you my views were not biased by the cake.
This review focus's more on the family/baby side rather than the pregnancy, though there was plenty there for the bun in the oven types too. Please take a peek at the exhibitor list for what you missed.

The Twinkle Diaries

what katy said


  1. Sounds like you had a wonderful time and the workshops sound great - especially the one on helping with toddler tantrums and love the sound of ToddlerCalm workshops too. Great review.

    1. It was possibly the first 'baby' show I had actually enjoyed! Toddler calm workshops do sound fab, think I may book in when my youngest has got to 1 year plus (and remember partners go free to join you!)

  2. This looks like such a fab day and look at all of those wonderful products. I ove those blinds! We have blackout curtains although they aren't perfect, sometime Zach falls asleep covering his eyes hehe! Great review and thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

    1. I have the same problem with blackout curtains as I bought standard ones from an online shop and the light just sneaks round the edges. I had a chat with the 'point to the window' blind lady and she recommended a blind and curtain combo or a blind that goes outside the window recess to help with that.
      You should have seen her fabric samples - they were all so gorgeous from chevrons to retro prints.

  3. I couldn't imagine going to a baby fair where there were so man babies! it is like walking into a mindfield. You never know when one will go off. haha. But sounds like you had an amazing time. I so want one of those ruler height charts! I have seen DIY ones but I am too lazy to make one! Well I don't have the skills I mean. Ha ha #TwinklyTuesdays

    1. Luckily most babies were strapped down the pushchairs or onto people!
      Have a look at the ruler height charts website....then you'll want one even more! Honestly fab fair and great stuff!

  4. What a fab day! Glad you had a great time (and yes, so much better than soft play!! ) Thank you for sharing in #KidsCorner x

  5. the sounds amazing I love anything like this where you can learn more and draw on other experiences so interesting thanks for linking up to #kidscorner x